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Maine lobsterman gets jail time in shooting incident

A Maine lobsterman was ordered to spend 45 days in jail after he pleaded guilty earlier this week to reduced charges stemming from a December shooting on a dock over the cutting of traps.

The agreement reduced felony charges to misdemeanors and Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said the victim opposed it, the Bangor Daily News reported.

James R. Simmons, 37, of Friendship, was sentenced Monday in Knox County Superior Court to 364 days in jail — with all but 45 days suspended — for criminal threatening and reckless conduct. He received lesser concurrent sentences for two counts of possession of oxycodone and violating a condition of release.

Simmons initially was charged with felony counts of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.

According to witness statements and an affidavit filed in December by Deputy James Moore of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the victim said he arrived Dec. 4 at Wallace’s Lobster Wharf and saw James Simmons. The victim said Simmons ran back to his truck, came out with a rifle and fired at him. Simmons also yelled to the man that he would soon kill him, according to the affidavit.

The victim was not struck. The victim said Simmons accused him of cutting his lobster traps, an assertion the victim denied.

A search of Simmons’ truck the next day found live ammunition and spent casings, and oxycodone pills.

Defense lawyer Steven Peterson said the case would have boiled down to a question of self-defense if it had gone to trial. Peterson said he hired a private investigator and has recordings of threats against his client and wife by the 34-year-old man who was listed as the victim.

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